Pour Martin Hermann
LONDON (Reuters) – Some Premier League teams may consider the vaccination status of potential recruits when they want to bolster their squads in the January transfer window, as a spike in Covid-19 cases raises fears of delaying the streak.
Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard and Crystal Palace coach Patrick Vieira said on Tuesday that vaccination status may be a factor to consider in the decision-making process.
The English Premier League announced, on Monday, the re-accreditation of “emergency measures” after 42 cases of Covid-19 were recorded among players and club delegations during the past week, ahead of the Manchester United match against Manchester United. Breakout at Old Trafford.
Gerrard, whose team had players and staff diagnosed with Covid-19 this week, told British media on Monday that Villa’s painstaking recruitment process meant vaccination status could be considered when speaking to potential recruits.
“We’ve looked at everything. So I’m sure it will come up,” said Gerrard, who is visiting Norwich City on Tuesday.
“But obviously we’ll make decisions when we decide that a certain person is the one who can come in and make us better.”
Vieira said clubs needed to find “solutions” and that the possibility of an unvaccinated player missing for 10 days due to Covid-19 isolation rules could be taken into account in new signings.
“But I don’t think that will be the final criterion to sign a player or not,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
The English football elite are in the midst of their busiest period of the season, with teams taking part in the Premier League Cup at least twice a week during the first week of January, and additional cancellations could lead to a backlog of matches.
United’s match against Brentford was the second to be postponed this season due to Covid-19, after Tottenham Hotspur’s match against Brighton and Hove Albion at the weekend.
Spurs’ outbreak also led to their home clash with Rennes last week being called off in the UEFA Conference League.
Leicester City, Brighton, Norwich City and Villa have also reported cases where the micron variant is now common in the UK.
Clubs are seeing full stadiums again this season after playing almost the entirety of last season and part of the previous season in front of empty stands or with a limited audience after the pandemic began in March 2020.
(Pur Shrivathsa Sridhar and Rohith Nair, M Bengaluru, E Martin Hermann, M Lunder)
Copyright © Thomson Reuters.
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